Kendall P. Gilbert was like a lot of parents not that long ago — juggling a busy career with parenting and household responsibilities. Today, she’s helping other moms and families carve out more space in their lives and homes with her business MORE SPACE.
Gilbert, a mom of two in Raleigh, is a certified interior designer who worked in commercial design as a space and move planner for nearly 15 years before launching her business three years ago. (A shout out to Restored for Moms for introducing me to her!) I checked in with Gilbert to learn more about MORE SPACE and how she’s helping families across the Triangle. Here’s a Q&A.
Go Ask Mom: How did More Space get its start? What was your aha moment?
Kendall Gilbert: I was working in a management position with two young kids and felt like I couldn’t keep up with all the demands of motherhood, marriage, family and a job. It was like I was captaining a ship but didn’t have the tools needed to stay afloat. I had so much going on, and I didn’t have any space to think clearly. I wanted MORE SPACE in my mind, at home and in my schedule to enjoy the season instead of just surviving it. So, I started identifying what was most important in my life so I could eliminate what wasn’t critical and get MORE SPACE to enjoy what mattered most. The stationery and organizational systems I developed out of this journey is what I now call MORE SPACE. They are tactical tools to help other moms just like me create MORE SPACE in their lives for what’s most important so we can captain our ships from a place of smoother sailing, leaving behind the overwhelm.
GAM: What all do you offer?
KG: Tools to relieve the overwhelm so they have MORE SPACE to thrive. I offer paper tools to keep you organized, virtual courses to clear the clutter at home and organization consultations. My favorite paper tools are my notecards. As an easy button to help moms bring joy to others, I offer lunchbox cards to drop into kids’ backpacks and holiday photo cards to send to friends and family.
GAM: Moms are so overwhelmed for all of the reasons, and our home is supposed to be a place where we can just relax. But often, it isn’t. What’s the No. 1 problem you see when you’re working with local moms, and what’s your pep talk to them?
KG: The No. 1 problem I see is that moms have trouble maintaining order in their household quickly. They get overwhelmed because it feels like there’s so much to do and so they don’t do anything. Instead of taking on huge tasks like cleaning the entire house, doing all the laundry at once or weeding through piles of paper, I recommend moms adopt small weekly or daily, five to 10-minute routines that can really change the feel of a home and bring more peace. These five quick habits can establish order without a huge time commitment and make everyone feel better:
- Create a Meal Plan: On the weekends, create a plan for dinners during the upcoming week. Grocery shop during the weekends and post the meal plan in a visible location. When the 5 o’clock hour hits on weeknights, a dinner plan is in place so there isn’t undue stress or money spent on fast food to just get by.
- Establish a Nightly Pick-Up Routine: Before going to bed each night, walk around the main living spaces and tidy them. Put toys in baskets, line up shoes by the door, throw away trash and put clothes in the hamper. You’ll be glad to start the day with a clean slate in the morning.
- Empty the Dishwasher in the Morning: Wake up five minutes earlier to empty the dishwasher. An empty dishwasher creates MORE SPACE to put dirty dishes in all day long so they don’t fill up the sink and the counters. Then, at night, run the dishwasher for clean dishes in the morning.
- Wash a Load of Laundry a Day: Put a load of dirty laundry in the washer in the morning, change it to the dryer in the afternoon, fold and put the clothes away at night. This will eliminate mounds of laundry laying around to be washed on the weekend.
- Recycle Unwanted Mail Right Away: Eliminate extra paper on surfaces by recycling any unwanted mail as soon as it’s removed from the mailbox. There won’t be extra paper contributing to the visual overwhelm in the house.
GAM: Tell us about the impact you’re having on mom’s lives as you help them. What’s their reaction as they figure out systems that work best for them?
KG: I’m always surprised to see how much better moms feel after we’ve purged an area of their house. We create MORE SPACE by eliminating what they no longer need/use and they are so much happier to live and work in that space. It’s like a weight has been lifted!
GAM: What’s your hope for the future of your business?
KG: I want to continue to empower more moms with tools to relieve the overwhelm so they have MORE SPACE to thrive.
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.